“Rape of Life Itself”
This piece began several years ago dealing with the issue of rape,
specifically rape of women by men. The vagina, entrance to
the uterus or womb is the portal for a soul’s entrance to
this physical world. It is ironic that the very precious
place that gives start, growth and possibility to humans is also
the target for the most violent attacks. This violence comes
not from self-defensiveness (a natural part of the healthy human
psyche) but rather from a deep personal and cultural anger and
pain. Rape of Life Itself” is a prayer for the eventual
healing of this deep pain. Because the occurrence is so widespread,
being found literally in every culture, it signals a phenomenon
unique to our species, a much bigger sickness than what it appears. I
pay homage to the Congolese women’s suffering in this shield,
honor their spirit and offer prayers for their healing.
Rape embraces much more: rape of men in prison, children who are
sexually taken advantage of, assaulted, child prostitutes, altar
boys. Rape of one culture by another. Colonialism. Invasions. Expansionism.
Intellectual rape. Psychological rape. Emotional rape. Sexual
harassment. All at the expense of the subordinate’s
well being. Dominance and subjugation, whether by a man,
woman, child (over another child), teacher over a student, coach
over a charge, country over another country or culture is a breaking
of a boundary. Boundaries, both physical and emotional, are
the very essence of our human dignity.
This piece honors all who have suffered rape in one form or another
and is a visual prayer for healing. The red triangular shape
is symbolic of a safe place, for life to exist, for healthy relationships. It
is full, richly lined with red beads, not unlike the lining of
a womb. The black shape piercing into the red represents
any form of energy that violates life itself.